When I was a Kid…. Oh what a time it was. I would get up early on a summer morning with nothing to do. I had more toys to play with than all the kids on the block I lived on.
But I still went out to the kitchen and complained . “Mom, I’m bored, what should I do?” She would say. “Well, eat your breakfast, get dressed and go outside to play.” was her reply. “But it’s too hot outside!” I whined.
Well, when I was a kid, you were expected to be outside all day long in the hot sun. We didn’t even have a cell phone for mom to check up on us when I went out to play when I was a kid.
When I was a kid, I wondered when i blew a kiss, if it reached its destination. Now, I still blow a second quiet kiss- willing it to go the distance.
When I was a kid, I waited for mommy or daddy to kiss me goodnight, to tuck me into bed. Now I help them to shut off the light and get to bed.
When I was a kid, I once wrote on the wall the word ‘CAT’, and then blamed it on my three year old sister. Now, I help my brother and sister write on things with chalk- to make a crazy and pretty pictures.
When I was a kid, I grew excited to hear my Grandmother’s stories, she had special ones for each of us. Now, I ask my Gram to repeat those stories on occasions- when the younger ones aren’t keeping her busy.
When I was a kid, my cousins were my best friends, two in-particular. Now, I have too many friends to keep up with-
and I miss my best friends.
When I was a kid, I fell asleep to the rhythm of a back-rub, my Grandparents knew just how to give me. Now, I quietly day- dream myself to sleep-creating my own imaginative stories.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand why teenagers got so caught up in friends and activities, I thought they must hate being at home.
Now, I survive from filling my schedule so full I barely have time to breathe- but all the while all I want is to be home.
Gee I loved being a kid. Living for the moment, laughing for the sheer joy of doing so, letting my imagination run wild, not trying to be someone I wasn’t, saying “yes I can do that” to everything I wanted to try, even if I wasn’t any good at it. I didn’t have to worry about getting a job, a relationship, or pay off a mortgage.
Nor did I realize that, while I was playing, I was also learning all the basics of life – how to talk, read, write, make my arms, legs and eyes work together, play by the rules that my friends and I made up on the spot and – best of all – negotiation skills, learned by convincing my parents to buy sweets and toys.
Problems were resolved by a motherly kiss or going without dessert. Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end.
But they did.Life became serious. Parents, friends and teachers carefully taught me what I had to do to succeed in the harsh world of reality. Having fun became a waste of time that could be much more usefully put into earning serious money.
I was told to forget silly kid stuff, like jumping, drawing, singing, acting and doing roly-polies down a grassy hill. Instead, look around at what the adults are doing… copy them…don’t be different or people will think you’re dumb. Get a real job.
Become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer – anything that makes people look at you in awe. So I did.
I started taking courses I didn’t want to do. I did degrees that were going to take me somewhere, but got me nowhere. I started getting assessed – for the right school, right friends, right sport, right university, right job, right partner…the right path to whatever other people told me would take me down that glorious road to success, fulfillment and happiness.
And no, I didn’t always get chosen. I often wasn’t good enough, qualified enough, wealthy enough, talented enough, dressed well enough, intelligent enough, or trained enough.
Then I started to see the light.
What I was getting enough of was stressed, pressured, changed, controlled, confused, uncertain and misguided. The one life I had was slipping by fast. I was reaching each of “the big 0’s” faster and faster. Finally I hit the big 6-0 – when bosses tell you: “you’re too old to work anymore. Go find a nice pasture. Book into God’s waiting room where you can pass the time until you die”.
That’s when I exploded.
“Enough is enough is enough!!!” It’s time for me to be me – the me I always wanted to be when I was a child.It hit me that life in my 60’s had much in common with life in my childhood. I didn’t have to worry about a job (though I could work if I wanted to), or a mortgage (it was under control) or even a relationship (I was happily married).
I could do anything I felt like doing – even if I wasn’t any good at it. I could become a kid again. And this time it could be even better. I now had the benefit of a lifetime of experiences – good and bad – and even a little money on which to build my childhood dreams, skills, fun, interests and plans.
So I have become a kid again.
I am free to do as I please, when I want, with whom I want, for as long as I wish and at the pace I like. I don’t have to be good at what I do. I just lose myself in the joy of the moment, laughing for the sheer pleasure of doing so, letting my imagination run wild, being the me I always wanted to be.
I love it. I am learning, growing and blossoming into a truly successful person. I now know happiness is the journey, not the end and life is what you make of it, right this minute.
You wanna come out and play?
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